Train driver shares the four steps he took to be mortgage free at 28

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Oliver Alvis, 28, became a qualified train driver in 2019 and was able to save for the deposit on his first ever property in Allington, Kent at the age of 20. He quickly took to refurbishing the property and made a £25,000 profit off its sale. He’s been pretty busy since – and he’s now shared the four steps he took to being mortgage free.

Mr Alvis grew up in a family of eight, which taught him frugality and money management. 

However, being part of such a large family meant he would not be able to withdraw from the bank of mum and dad. 

Working at Western Railway in 2012 collecting tickets, Mr Alvis eventually worked his way up to becoming a fully qualified train driver in 2019. 

Taking overtime shifts and upskilling himself, Mr Alvis was able to save up for the deposit on his very first property: a two bedroom flat which he purchased for £125,000. 

He explained: “I was 18 and living at home, sharing a room with my brother, so I took a job for a year on the railway to save for university and then I bought my first place when I was 20.”

As soon as the flat was his, Mr Alvis set about trying to add value to it.

Redecorating the entire flat, retiling the kitchen and bathroom and even hand-painting the kitchen cupboards meant that Mr Alvis was able to sell this property for £150,000.

He sold through an estate agent which took 1.5 percent as well as VAT but the profit of £25,000 was the first step he took to becoming mortgage free before turning 30.

Mr Alvis used the money from the property sale to purchase a three bedroom, two bathroom house in Chippenham for £216,000. 

His DIY drive took over once again, immediately redecorating the entirety of the property whilst still working a full-time job.

He shared: “This was a pretty tiring period as all of my spare time was filled up with DIY and renovating the property. All the hard work was worth it as I sold the property for a £22,000 profit with Purplebricks for £238,000.”

Mr Alvis said that not only did Purplebricks allow him to communicate directly with potential buyers but he also realised how much he was able to save by not using a regular high street estate agent.

With the successful sale of his second house, Mr Alvis moved on to a three bedroom riverside townhouse in Bristol. 

He purchased it for £252,000 and there was no hesitation in undertaking the extensive work needed for the property to make a profit.

Mr Alvis commented: “I worked overtime driving trains for Great Western Railway, to build up savings and I worked in Bristol and was commuting back every day to Wiltshire. 

“I completely altered the property, knocking down walls, replastering throughout, and did it on my own alongside my full time job. However, I suffered a setback when I unfortunately employed a cowboy builder that replastered when I was on holiday. I returned from my holiday to find that all the ceiling had fallen down.”

Having learnt a lesson and fixed the mistakes made, Mr Alvis sold the property for £307,000, providing him with a sizeable chunk of profit for the first time in his property flipping career. 

Finally, Mr Alvis spent a fair amount of time scouting potential locations for his next purchase, which would end up being a four bedroom detached house in Chippenham for £325,995. 

Mr Alvis had bought the property off plan from the developers, and set to work reflooring the entire property as well as landscaping the garden. 

Now the property has been sold subject to contract for £410,500, leaving Mr Alvis entirely mortgage free at the ripe young age of 28. 

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